Spicy Cucumber Margaritas
In Mexico, this is known as El Pipino. These are so wonderfully refreshing and delicious. You can skip the spice if that’s not your thing.
2 telegraph cucumbers
1/2 cup lime juice
1/2 cup mezcal, or tequila
1-2 tbsp agave, or to taste
1 tsp Aleppo pepper, (optional)
1 tsp flaky sea salt
1 lime, cut into quarters
Place four tumblers in the freezer to chill for 30 minutes. If you’re tight for time, we like to quickly rinse the glasses with water, and then place them, wet, in the freezer for 5 minutes. Don’t do this with superfine crystal or it will break.
Cut a couple of slices off one of your cucumbers to use as a garnish, then peel the remainder, and the other one, and cut into chunks. Place the cucumbers in a food processor and blitz until smooth.
Use a sieve to strain this liquid into a small bowl—you should have a clean pale green juice.
Transfer the cucumber juice to a large jug and add the lime juice, mezcal or tequila, and agave. Mix to combine. You can chill this mixture for up to 4 hours before you serve, or enjoy it immediately.
When ready to serve, mix the Aleppo pepper, if using, and salt on a large plate and spread out into a single layer.
To salt the rim of your glasses, press your lime quarters around the rim of each glass to moisten, then place each glass, rim-side down, onto your plate, using the lime juice to stick the salt and spices to the rim of the glass.
Place a couple of ice cubes in each of your prepared glasses.
Give your cocktail mix a good stir, and then divide between the glasses, distributing evenly between the four. Garnish with cucumber slices and serve immediately.
You can easily halve or double this recipe, just make sure you keep the ratios the same.
If you don’t have agave, you can use honey or maple syrup as a sweetener, it will just have a slightly different flavour profile.